Consumers are giving a modest lift to the economy.
They spent more on trucks, electronics and building supplies in October to boost retail sales for the fifth straight month.
The gains provide an encouraging start for the October-December quarter. They come just as separate reports show that wholesale prices are flattening and U.S. shoppers are spending more at Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer.
Consumer spending accounts for 70% of all US economic activity, and consumer deleveraging accounts for much of our no-to-slow growth these last two years. I’m still waiting to see what consumers do during the Christmas season, however.